The Most Popular Outdoor Sport: Exploring the Rankings of Outdoor Activities

Choose the outdoor sport you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 14, 2024 07:25
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinions matter! We're excited to present our latest ranking: "What is the most popular outdoor sport?" This is your chance to let the world know where your favorite outdoor activity stands among the rest. With thousands of enthusiasts passionately engaged in various sports, it's time to see which one takes the trophy home. From adrenaline-pumping mountain biking to the ever-popular soccer, we've got a wide range of options for you to choose from or even suggest a missing option! So, gear up and join the fun as we dive into this thrilling race to uncover the ultimate outdoor sport. Cast your vote now, and may the best sport win!

What Is the Most Popular Outdoor Sport?

  1. 1
    Soccer is the most popular outdoor sport globally, played by millions of people worldwide. It is a team sport that requires skill, strategy, and physical endurance.
    Soccer, also known as association football or simply football, is a popular sport in Haiti. It is a team-based game played with a spherical ball on a rectangular field. The objective is to score goals by kicking the ball into the opponent's net. The team with the most goals at the end of the game wins.
    • Number of players: Usually played with two teams of 11 players each.
    • Field dimensions: A football field typically measures approximately 100-110 meters in length and 64-75 meters in width.
    • Duration: A standard soccer match consists of two halves, each lasting 45 minutes, with a 15-minute halftime break.
    • Offside rule: A player is considered offside if they are nearer to the opponent's goal line than both the ball and the second-last defender when the ball is played to them.
    • Penalty kick: Awarded to the attacking team if a foul is committed by the defending team inside their own penalty box. It allows the attacking team to take a free shot on goal from the penalty spot.
  2. 2
    Basketball is a popular outdoor sport played by individuals or teams. It requires speed, agility, and skill in shooting and dribbling.
    Basketball is a fast-paced and exhilarating sport that showcases dynamic athleticism, skillful teamwork, and strategic gameplay. Played by two teams of five players each, the objective is to score points by shooting the ball through the opposing team's hoop. With its high-flying dunks, precision shooting, and rapid ball movement, basketball offers an exciting spectacle that captivates fans worldwide.
    • Number of Players: 5 players per team
    • Playing Surface: Indoor court with a hardwood floor
    • Hoops: Two standard-sized hoops, positioned at opposite ends of the court
    • Ball: Standard basketball with a circumference of 29.5-30 inches
    • Game Duration: Four quarters of 12 minutes each (NBA)
  3. 3
    Tennis is a popular outdoor sport played by individuals or teams. It requires speed, agility, and skill in hitting the ball with a racket.
    Tennis is an elegant and fast-paced sport played by two players (singles) or four players (doubles) on a rectangular court. It is played with rackets and a felt-covered ball, with the objective of hitting the ball over a net into the opponent's side of the court, in a way that the opponent cannot return it. The sport requires agility, accuracy, and strategic thinking.
    • Court Dimensions: The court is 78 feet long and 27 feet wide for singles matches, and 36 feet wide for doubles matches.
    • Net Height: The height of the net is 3 feet (0.91 meters) at the center.
    • Scoring System: Tennis uses a point-based scoring system with Love (0), 15, 30, and 40 points. An additional point after 40 is required to win a game.
    • Sets and Matches: A match consists of the best of three or five sets. A player must win six or seven games (depending on the format) with a two-game advantage to win a set.
    • Serve: The server must stand behind the baseline and hit the ball into the service box diagonally across the net.
  4. 4
    Cycling is a popular outdoor sport that requires endurance, strength, and skill. It can be done individually or as part of a team.
    Cycling is a popular aerobic exercise that involves riding a bicycle to improve cardiovascular health, build endurance, and strengthen lower body muscles. It can be done both outdoors and indoors on stationary bikes. Cycling is enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels.
    • Cardiovascular Benefits: It helps improve heart health and increase lung capacity.
    • Muscle Strengthening: It targets the muscles in the legs, thighs, hips, and buttocks.
    • Low-Impact Exercise: Cycling is gentle on the joints and reduces the risk of injury.
    • Calorie Burn: It is an effective way to burn calories and lose weight.
    • Improved Coordination: Cycling requires balance and coordination, enhancing motor skills.
  5. 5
    Running is a popular outdoor sport that requires physical endurance and speed. It can be done individually or as part of a team.
    Running is a popular aerobic exercise that involves moving at a fast pace by alternating your legs in a running motion. It is a common form of exercise for improving cardiovascular health, endurance, and overall fitness. It can be done on various surfaces, such as roads, tracks, or trails, and can be performed both indoors on a treadmill or outdoors. Running is a versatile form of exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels.
    • Caloric Burn: Burns around 600-800 calories per hour for an average adult
    • Cardiovascular Benefits: Improves heart health and lung capacity
    • Muscle Engagement: Engages various muscle groups, including leg muscles, core muscles, and upper body muscles
    • Weight Management: Helps in weight loss or weight maintenance
    • Bone Strength: Increases bone density and strengthens bones
  6. 6
    Swimming is a popular outdoor sport that requires physical endurance and skill. It can be done individually or as part of a team.
    Swimming is a challenging individual sport that involves propelling oneself through water using the arms and legs. It is a highly demanding physical activity that requires strength, endurance, and technical skill. Swimming can be performed in various styles, including freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. It is not only a competitive sport but also a recreational activity enjoyed by people of all ages. Swimmers strive to improve their speed, technique, and efficiency in order to achieve their best performance in the water.
    • Equipment: Swimsuit, goggles, swim cap
    • Pool Length: Olympic-sized pools are typically 50 meters long, but other lengths are also used for competitions.
    • Distance Events: Swimming events range from short distances like 50 meters to long distances like 1500 meters.
    • Strokes: Freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly are the four primary strokes used in competitive swimming.
    • Turns: Efficient turns, such as flip turns, are crucial for maintaining speed and efficiency during races.
  7. 7
    Golf is a popular outdoor sport that requires skill, strategy, and patience. It can be done individually or as part of a team.
    Golf is a precision club-and-ball sport where players use various clubs to hit a small ball into a series of holes on a course in the fewest possible strokes. It is a popular sport played internationally, known for its combination of skill, strategy, and sportsmanship.
    • Number of Players: Usually played individually, but can also be played in teams.
    • Objective: To complete each hole with the fewest number of strokes possible.
    • Equipment: Golf clubs, golf balls, and golf course.
    • Golf Courses: Consist of a series of holes, usually 18, each with a teeing area, fairway, rough, and green.
    • Scoring: Scores are based on the number of strokes taken to complete each hole. The lower the score, the better.
  8. 8
    Surfing is a popular outdoor sport that requires physical endurance, skill, and balance. It is typically done on the ocean waves.
    Surfing is a water sport where individuals ride on the face of a breaking wave towards the shore. Surfers use a surfboard, typically made of foam or fiberglass, to navigate the waves. It is considered one of the most exciting activities as it provides an exhilarating experience and a close connection with the power of the ocean.
    • Surfboard: A specialized board used for surfing, typically made of foam or fiberglass.
    • Breaking Waves: Surfers ride on the face of breaking waves, which provide the necessary energy and momentum.
    • Balance and Coordination: Surfing requires a good sense of balance and coordination to maintain control and stability on the board while riding the waves.
    • Paddling: Surfers use their arms and hands to paddle and catch the waves, helping them gain speed and positioning.
    • Takeoff: The process of transitioning from paddling to actually riding the wave, requiring precise timing and positioning.
  9. 9
    Hiking is a popular outdoor sport that requires physical endurance and strength. It involves walking or climbing on trails or mountains.
    Hiking is an outdoor activity that involves walking or trekking on trails and paths in natural environments, typically in the mountains, woods, or countryside. It is a popular recreational activity that allows individuals to connect with nature and enjoy the scenic beauty of the surroundings.
    • Physical Activity Level: Moderate to high
    • Terrain: Varied, includes hills, mountains, forests, and trails
    • Duration: Can range from a few hours to multiple days
    • Equipment: Appropriate footwear, backpack, navigation tools, water, and snacks
    • Benefits: Physical fitness, mental well-being, stress relief, and exploration of nature
  10. 10
    Rock Climbing
    Chris · CC BY 2.0
    Rock climbing is a popular outdoor sport that requires physical endurance, strength, and skill. It involves climbing rocks or mountains.
    Rock climbing is a challenging and adrenaline-pumping hobby that involves scaling natural or artificial rock formations using specialized equipment and techniques. Climbers use their physical strength, mental focus, and problem-solving skills to navigate the obstacles and reach the summit or endpoint of a climbing route.
    • Physical Fitness: Requires high levels of strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance.
    • Mental Agility: Demands concentration, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
    • Technical Gear: Utilizes specialized equipment like harnesses, helmets, ropes, carabiners, and climbing shoes.
    • Grades: Routes are graded on difficulty, ranging from easy (5.0) to extremely challenging (5.15).
    • Types of Climbing: Includes bouldering, sport climbing, traditional climbing, and alpine climbing.
    Rock Climbing in other rankings

Missing your favorite outdoor sport?


Ranking factors for popular outdoor sport

  1. Number of participants
    The number of people who actively engage in the sport, both regularly and occasionally, can indicate its popularity.
  2. Global appeal
    The sport's popularity across different countries and regions can show its overall appeal and reach.
  3. Accessibility
    The ease of access to facilities and equipment for playing the sport, as well as its adaptability to different environments, can affect its popularity.
  4. Age and gender inclusivity
    The sport's appeal to people of various age groups and genders can be a factor in determining its popularity.
  5. Media coverage
    The amount and type of media coverage the sport receives, including television broadcasts, online content, and print articles, can indicate its popularity and impact.
  6. Spectator interest
    The attendance at live events and the number of viewers watching the sport on television or online can demonstrate its popularity among spectators.
  7. Sponsorship and investment
    The level of corporate sponsorship and investment in the sport, both at the grassroots and professional levels, can be a reflection of its popularity and commercial appeal.
  8. Social media presence
    The number of followers, engagements, and content dedicated to the sport on social media platforms can help gauge its popularity among fans and enthusiasts.
  9. Health benefits
    The physical and mental health benefits associated with the sport can contribute to its popularity, as more people are drawn to activities that promote wellbeing.
  10. Competitive scene
    The presence of professional leagues, championships, and tournaments, as well as the sport's inclusion in prominent multi-sport events like the Olympics, can showcase the sport's popularity in the world of competitive sports.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular outdoor sport. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or outdoor sport is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 190 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each outdoor sport once every 24 hours. The rank of each outdoor sport is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular outdoor sport

Outdoor sports are a great way to get outside, get active, and enjoy nature. From hiking and camping to skiing and snowboarding, there are countless activities to choose from. But which outdoor sport is the most popular? At StrawPoll, we decided to find out. We surveyed thousands of people from all over the world to determine the most popular outdoor sport. Whether you're an avid athlete or just someone who loves to spend time outdoors, you're sure to find something to love on our list of the most popular outdoor sports. So read on and discover which activities made the cut!

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